Using a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a multi-disciplinary team comprised of the University of Minnesota’s Medical, Science and Engineering, and Education and Human Development Colleges is using an array of Kinect sensors to observe mental disorders such as autism, attention-deficit disorder and OCD in children.
Traditionally, this type of observation has been conducted with video recording analysis under parental supervision, or with sensors applied to the child’s body that can cost up to $100,000. The $150 Kinect allows for inexpensive and objective observation with quantifiable results thanks to the camera’s 3D and infrared tracking features.
Lead researcher, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos is very excited about his current research and future implementations of the device. He said “Something we can do three years down the line, we can do it today because of technology that was destined for the gaming industry. I don’t think Microsoft has realized that [the Kinect] is something that could change medicine.”
Well, at least someone’s getting some use out of the thing.